Kentucky Derby winner Justify is sitting in the favorite position for this Saturday’s Preakness Stakes. As with the Derby, it promises to be a muddy track (and we know he has no problem with that!) and this time he’ll face only seven challengers, a far cry from the crowded Derby Field.
Three horses other than Justify also raced in the Derby: Good Magic, Lone Sailor and Bravazo. Four horses are fresh. If Mike Smith can get another clean, sharp break coming out of the gate, he should have a good race. Quip, in post position 1 is likely to set the pace but the two horses most likely to challenge Justify are Bravazo (who raced in the Derby) and Diamond King (who skipped the Derby), a horse that has several wins over this track.
All reports are that Justify is training well. Shortly after the Derby, he looked a bit off on his left hind, but that was attributed to a bruised heel. Fran Jurga, reported in her Hoofblog, that Justify had some pro-active shoeing to get him fit for the Preakness.
On Sunday, May 13, most people were celebrating Mothers Day, but Florida farrier Curtis Burns was on his way to the airport. A longtime adjunct farrier for some of Bob Baffert’s special cases, Burns is known for his work with hoof repair, adhesives and his own shoe, the Polyflex urethane shoe, used successfully by racehorses like Curlin, Shackleford and Mucho Macho Man. Shackleford, in fact, won the Preakness wearing Burns’s shoes.
Curtis Burns arrived in Louisville equipped to do some serious work on the colt, but he said he instead found a pretty standard heel injury — and one that didn’t require many of the tools in the hoof repair case he had carried with him.
He said he removed the three-quarter shoe and re-shod both hinds with regular Victory toe-clipped raceplates. The new near hind shoe covered the bruised heel area. Burns then applied a support wall reinforcement; it does not touch the shoe, and is not nailed. The nailing pattern is forward of the adhesive.
Here’s Justify feeling out the sodden Pimlico Track earlier today. Gotta love that Palomino lead pony. He’s adorable. Justify looks fit and ready to go.